World Wetlands day Nature Trail Project
by Young Environmentalists Programme.
Over 100 visitors joined the World Wetlands Mangrove trail at the creeks in Bhandup and Airoli to mark the occasion of the World Wetlands day.
World wetland day is celebrated every year all across the world to commemorate the Convention on Wetlands means the Ramsar Convention which was held on 2nd of February in 1971 in the city of Ramsar, Iran at the Caspian Sea coasts. It was started celebrating for the first time in the year 1997.
The theme for the world wetland day 2017 is “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction”.
Wetlands play an important role in reducing the impact of extreme weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones. Wetlands act as a natural sponge, absorbing and
storing excess rainfall and reducing flooding. During the dry season, they release the water stored, delaying the onset of droughts and reducing water shortages.
Mangrove habitats and ecosystems are essential not just for coastal defense, as a sediment stabilizer’s and a nursery habitat for many aquatic species but also in their role supporting many species unique to the mangrove environment itself.
The main objective of an urban wetlands sanctuary with a demonstration site integrating mangrove restoration with community education, showing how mangroves function and how restoring essential habitats elsewhere can be achieved.
The outdoors nature project demonstrate that the benefits of mangroves can be achieved anywhere on the coast so as to encourage more people to protect remaining habitats. The participants will now assemble essays on Wetlands day and also display their photography among the rest of the student faculty to help spread their messages of conserving wetlands.
Some of the mangrove species found along Maharashtra coast includes:
What is Mangroves biodiversity- India is blessed with abundant mangrove forests along its vast coastline. The total area of mangroves in India is about 6,740 sq. km, which is about 7% of the world’s total area of mangroves. Around 20 out of the 35 species of mangroves found in India have been reported from the Maharashtra coast and 12 of these species are found in Mumbai. As per the “State of Forests Report – 2011”, published in January, 2012 by Forest Survey of India (FSI), the mangrove cover in the Maharashtra stands at 186 square kilometre, which includes mangroves standing on private as well as public land.
Why we need to save mangroves–
Mangroves represent a precious biological resource, which confer a variety of benefits to mankind. Most significant among these benefits are their ability to bring greenery to places where no other species can thrive, the supportive role they play in enriching our coastal biodiversity, their proven value in climate change mitigation and their matchless utility in protecting our coastal communities from natural disasters like tsunamis, cyclones and storm surges.
Mangroves prevent land erosion Mangroves trap debris and silt and help in soil formation and stabilizing the coastline. They also act as natural water filters and help control pollution.
Mangroves act as natural barriers They act as natural barriers against storm-driven wave (tsunamis) and wind action and helps stop erosion, preventing loss of life and property.
Mangroves are a haven for marine biodiversity They provide shelter for marine and terrestrial animals and also protect them from ocean currents and strong winds. They serve as nursery and refuge for many species of juvenile fish and invertebrates. Many species of waterbirds nest within mangrove forest.
Mangroves help in carbon sequestration.
Anthropogenic activity leads to release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane etc. However, mangroves act as carbon sinks, as they take up carbon from the atmosphere and bury it in the soil, thereby reducing the impacts of climate change. Scientists say, they are six times more effective than rainforests in carbon sequestration.
Mangroves provide a source of recreation and tourism.
Mangrove ecosystems are known to have a plethora of life forms. Due to their aesthetic value, mangrove forests act as natural attractions for tourists.
Enjoy a safe outdoor Mangrove and Flamingoes on sight trail by walking carefully,wear caps, capture photo’s and make a Mangrove photo collage for your school board and a project essay report on the Young Environmentalists Mangroves and Flamingoes Nature Trail.
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Elsie Gabriel Founder Young Environmentalists
Mentor Climate Reality Project